With India yet to sort out their middle order batting woes, especially the No.4 spot, fast bowling great Zaheer Khan believes rising stumper Rishabh Pant's attractive strokeplay makes him one of the contenders in the squad for next year's ICC World Cup, scheduled to be held in England and Wales.
"I think Rishabh Pant can claim his spot in the team with about 25 matches to go, it's still a long way," said Zaheer, who is an expert panellist at Star Sports Select Dugout programme for the ongoing Asia Cup.
"The team management has been very open trying different options which is something that they will keep an eye on because he's got the ability to change the tempo of the game and hit big sixes which will be required in those death overs," he added.
The former India pace spearhead also opined that India could go with five specialist bowlers in the prestigious event, with three seamers and two spinners.
"You know there are still a few spots up for grabs in the bowling department as well and you would expect Hardik Pandya to come back just to provide that balance," Zaheer said.
"In these conditions, you can afford to play three spinners which works but that might not be the case come the World Cup which is something they have to figure out.
"They could go with five specialist bowlers, three seamers and a couple of spinners or they would need to find someone who is going to be a replacement for Pandya if he is not available or fit," the 39-year-old said.